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  #1  
Old 03-04-2021, 02:21 PM
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Default Opinion on The Esoteric N-05

Hi everyone,
Greetings from Lisbon, Portugal.
My system is modest and it sits on a family living room.
I have a Plinius Hautonga integrated amp, Monitor Audio Platinum PL200II speakers. The main source for 95% of my music is my Cambridge Audio Azur 851N, heavily modified streamer. The rest comes from my TT.
My plan for the upcoming months/years would be to go for an Esoteric K-03 (current version) to listen to my CD’s and use as a better DAC for the streamer.
But most of the music I listen is in fact stored in my NAS or Tidal Hifi. All my CDs are ripped in uncompressed WAV and I also have a large collection of hi-rez files.
So it maybe made more sense to go for the N-05.
Would love to read your opinions!

Thanks
Andre
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2021, 03:38 PM
cleeds cleeds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreantunes View Post
... The main source for 95% of my music is my Cambridge Audio Azur 851N, heavily modified streamer. The rest comes from my TT.
My plan for the upcoming months/years would be to go for an Esoteric K-03 ...
But most of the music I listen is in fact stored in my NAS or Tidal Hifi ...
So it maybe made more sense to go for the N-05 ...
Out of curiosity: How did you modify your 851N?
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:43 PM
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The K-03XD will have a far better dac than the N-05, so they aren't really apples to apples.

If you want to go full streamer, stretch a little and get the N-01XD. That's even better than the K-03XD. Too bad they don't make a N-03XD!

But if you want to use your current streamer and keep a spinner around as an option, then the K-03XD is a good idea. It's just not ideal to use USB compared to a network input, but that's splitting hairs really.
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleeds View Post
Out of curiosity: How did you modify your 851N?
Hi!
In the power supply I upgraded all capacitors, diodes and voltage regulator to Sparkos discrete.
In the audio board and DAC also replaced all caps (used Elna silmic II, Nichicon BP and Fine Gold and KW dependi g on the usage). Also upgraded the 10 voltage regulators to Sparkos discretes. Replaced stock RCA to WBT ag). Power cable is also not stock.
Difference from the stock unit is huge, in detail, timming, silence, soundstage, texture.
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:31 PM
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The local Esoteric dealer (also Pass Labs, Monitor Audio, Plinius) is a good friend. I actually have the possibility to listen and compare both. Also maybe try them here at home.
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:40 PM
cleeds cleeds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreantunes View Post
Hi!
In the power supply I upgraded all capacitors, diodes and voltage regulator to Sparkos discrete.
In the audio board and DAC also replaced all caps (used Elna silmic II, Nichicon BP and Fine Gold and KW dependi g on the usage). Also upgraded the 10 voltage regulators to Sparkos discretes. Replaced stock RCA to WBT ag). Power cable is also not stock.
Difference from the stock unit is huge, in detail, timming, silence, soundstage, texture.
Whoa - that's a lotta work!
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2021, 04:57 AM
PedroS PedroS is offline
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Hi Andre

Please go check compatibility with Esoteric. They are fantastic units, but those days home servers and compatibility are not yet there...
I had, I believe, from the same source, an K-03xd, to pair with Aurender N20, and I have my share of compatibility issues. Now all solved until DSD256 (the SACD player does that DoP), just remaining the DSD512. Note that everything should be ok from both specifications...
I had too your streamer, and after your upgrade, I believe you have made better an already good one.
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Old 03-05-2021, 12:58 PM
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Typical USB sample rate specifications are only for Windows.

Linux DSD compatibility among streamer - DAC are basically impossible to list.

Mac OS does not even have native DSD (with a few exceptions).

These are true not only for Esoteric, but for *all* DSD512 USB DAC in the market.

That's one of the reasons why I'm here, to answer questions about compatibility of Esoteric models and their network operations (same with N series and Lumin).
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Last edited by wklie; 03-05-2021 at 01:04 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2021, 05:16 PM
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My main goal is to play files from my NAS. Most of them are uncompressed WAVs, 24/192 Flacs and DSD64.
Regarding the upgrade on my 851N I spent many hours and studying a lot. The overall cost of replacing some 70-80 components was around USD600. Some had to replaced more than once. It was a labour of love and patience but the outcome and surprising. I took it to my Esoteric dealer and he was impressed. Sounds really good but it’s still far away from an Esoteric. But I would say it sounds like a USD 4.500 streamer now. Pretty happy with for the time.
Good weekend everyone!
Andre
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  #10  
Old 03-09-2021, 06:29 AM
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On a quick update, the Esoteric dealer suggested that I would be good with my current streamer and go for a K-07Xs, adding an external clock later. This would be - in his opinion which I value - a better option than going for the N-05 or the K-05Xs alone.
In the upcoming weeks I will borrow the K07 and N05 and test in my system for a few days.
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